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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mid MOwer, Mar 1, 2011.
Go with the extra 2ft. You will be happy you did. I have an 18ft now and I wish I had a 20ft
Man with only five accounts there is no need for a walker u should have bought a used 48 witha velke. For now u do not need a larger trailer letalone an enclosed trailer . Ur gonna put urself in thehole before u can even get a good start for the first few years use used equipment until you start to pu accounts and turn some profit..
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Turn the steering wheel and push the gas pedal.
I appreciate the business advice and I completely understand what you are talking about too much debt. As of now I only have debt on my 1996 1/2 ton pickup as I worked hard doing landscape designs, installs and of course, mowing lawns during 2010 to purchase more equipment as I grow. I was able to save for a reliable and professional Walker GHS mower and paid cash for the mower. The trailer in question is $3800 minus my trailer $1350 so I am left paying $2450, which I don't think that is too bad. I think I am going about the business in a smart and strategic way and am investing in myself. In order to grow I will need to take these risks even though they are low risk. We are not talking about a $35,000 pickup, $6,000 trailer, $14,000 mower and other such amenities. I am simply buying smart by buying good used commercial equipment to look as professional, if not more professional, as I can in my area.
Thanks for the advise.
It all depends how much you want to grow. We had a 16ft enclosed for a couple seasons and we outgrew it in a season. Our 24ft gets tight from time to time, we can fit a 36" w/b, a 48" w/b and a rider with bagging system end to end with about 5ft to spare but its almost too long in most areas. I would go with either a 18 or 20ft.
I have used a 20' enclosed trailer since 1998 and never had a problem turning it around any dead ends or circles. One thing to remember if your going to pull the trailer with a dump truck you have to order the trailer with a extended hitch. Usually a foot longer than a trailer made to be pulled by a pickup truck. Reason for this is so when you make a tight turn the dump body does not crush into the corner of the trailer. Also a 20' will give you room to grow into. I have a small work bench and tool box in the front of mine, racks that hold spare tools, saws, oil etc. and still have room for 3 zero turns. It was definitely my best investment.
I'm sorry. But with only 5 current residential accounts, maybe 5 more and maybe a commercial? This is really putting the cart before the horse. The fuel just to pull that big a trailer isn't even covered by your current accounts.
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the dif in price for two feet is a joke. any given day on craigslist you will find a 18 foot for less then a 16 and vis vers just get what you want keep in mind more gas to pull bigger trailer
If you only had 5 last year and plan to only have 10 this year, I wouldn't be looking at buying a trailer or trading in my truck. I'm not trying to discourage you, but look at it realistically. If you buy these two large items, what does it do to your profit margin? Assuming $50-60 per week per yard, that's 1800 per yard and a total gross of 9000 (hopefully) 18000 this year from mowing. At 18000, if you pay cash for a 16' trailer, you're looking at 4-6k. A decent 250 will set you back 20k in Cincinnati. That's a minimum of 24k for a new trailer and truck. Can you afford to lose $4000 in order to have newer used equipment.
I applaud your looking for an expansion plan, but caution you to be very careful about the finances. A better idea may be to come up with the plan, then how to implement it over a number of years. Maybe save $1000 from the gross for "future equipment".
Your next argument may be about payments and low interest. What happens if you do not land 5 more residential accounts? You're back to 9k gross. A decent used rate loan on 20k gets you a $400/mo payment. Trailers typically don't get a 60month loan like an auto. You may be looking at an $300/mo payment on a $4000 trailer. Now your annual payments are $8400, leaving you only $600 to operate the business (before insurance, gas, liscencing etc.)
Again, I applaud your vision of the future. Take it one step at a time...
You and I think a lot alike...
Something about great minds...